Friday, November 26, 2010

The Feast of Saint Allen

My Fellow Comedists,

This weekend is the feast of saint Allen. Allen Sherman would turn 86. As a child, LilBro and I came across the Old Man's copy of his classic album My Son, the Folk Singer and were so enchanted by it, that we had the entire thing memorized in no time. His gentle, clever, Jewish style of song parody was the end of the Borscht Belt era. Allen Sherman was what would have happened if Tom Lehrer had taken prozac.

Getting his start in television, Sherman, lived next door to Harpo Marx who so loved Sherman's song parodies that he had Sherman perform at one his parties. George Burns, who attended the party, was so tickled with Sherman that he got him a record contract and the result was My Son, the Folk Singer.

When President Kennedy was discovered to be a fan, Sherman's luck took off and he had a run of several successful albums. His 1963 My Son, the Nut, contained the hit that made him a household name, "Hello Mudder, Hello Fadder."

With the cultural upheaval of the late 60s, Sherman was too old fashioned. He would make several attempts to revive his career and would ultimately return to television as the voice of Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat a year and a half before his quite premature death.

Live, love, and laugh,

Irreverend Steve